Wilson, John, 1785-1854

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1785-05-18
Death 1854-04-03
Bretons
English

Biographical notes:

Scottish poet and critic, "Christopher North."

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Edinburgh, to an unidentified correspondent, 1842 Oct. 15. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270587437

"Christopher North". Scottish author.

From the description of Autograph note signed with initials : [n.p.], to his wife, [n.d.]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270588898

John Wilson (1785-1854) was a Scottish author, the "Christopher North" of Blackwood's Magazine, and professor of moral philosophy at Edinburgh University. For a full account of his life and work see the Dictionary of National Biography

From the guide to the Correspondence of John Wilson, 1809-1852, (GB 206 Leeds University Library)

John Wilson, Scottish critic and essayist, wrote three long poems before losing his estate through a relative's mismanagement in 1815. He joined with Lockhart and Hogg to found Blackwell's, and in 1820 was appointed professor of moral philosophy at Edinburgh. He continued to contribute to Blackwell's and also published rural short stories and two novels.

From the description of John Wilson papers, 1810-1844. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 84224468

From the description of John Wilson papers, 1810-1844. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702147117

"Christopher North;" Scottish author.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Queens St., to Mr. Millar, 1816 Oct. 23. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270588246

John Wilson was born in Paisley on May 18, 1785, and was educated at Glasgow University and Magdalen College, Oxford, from which he received his M.A. in 1810. He then took up residence at Elleray in Windermere, married Jane Penny, and devoted himself to writing poetry. The Isle of Palms, and Other Poems, was published in 1812.

In 1815 Wilson lost his inheritance due to a relative's mismanagement and returned to Scotland, where he was called to the bar in 1815. But his first interest continued to be literature, and in 1817 he joined with William Blackwood and John Gibson Lockhart to found Blackwood's Magazine. An ardent Tory, in 1820 Wilson was appointed to the Chair of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh University through the support of his political allies. Despite the controversy that greeted his appointment, Wilson won respect as a dedicated and inspiring lecturer.

Wilson continued to be a prolific and frequent contributor to Blackwood's until the death of his wife in 1837. Some of his more popular pieces were collected and published as Lights and Shadows of Scottish Life (1822) and Noctes Ambrosianae, which appeared posthumously.

Wilson retired from his professorship in 1851 due to ill-health, and died in Edinburgh on April 3, 1854.

From the guide to the John Wilson papers, 1810-1844, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

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Subjects:

  • Booksellers and bookselling--Scotland--Glasgow
  • Booksellers and bookselling
  • Authors and publishers--19th century
  • Letters 19th century
  • Authors and publishers--Great Britain--19th century
  • Publishers and publishing--History--19th century
  • Greek drama--Manuscripts
  • Publishers and publishing--Scotland--History--19th century

Occupations:

  • Booksellers and bookselling--Scotland

Places:

  • Scotland (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • Scotland--Glasgow (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • Scotland--Glasgow (as recorded)
  • Scotland (as recorded)